We’ve seen a secondary ARM chip appearing on the Surface Studio and predictions said that the future would bring us more and more Windows apps and even the full OS on such environments. Microsoft confirmed that approach in Shenzhen, China this week, during the WinHEC 2016 Conference.


Basically what they did was confirm that full Windows 10 for PC will be coming to mobile ARM chipsets in 2017. The Redmond giant is calling those “cellular PCs” and they’ve managed to get the x86 code for the Win 10 OS to run on ARM architecture. This is quite the achievement, revealed by Microsoft Executive VP, Terry Myerson at the event in China.

The reason for this advance is the fact that Microsoft aims to deliver improved power efficiency, flexible designs and cellular connectivity on PC-style devices. The requirements to run Microsoft’s platforms start with the upcoming flagship CPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, based on the 10 nm production process. The chip is already in production and it’s expected to ship on devices in early 2017.

It brings 27% higher performance and uses 40% less power compared to the Snapdragon 820/821. The resulting Windows 10 on ARM platform will be able to run x86 Win32 apps and games with ease on ARM setups, with the aid of emulation. Any such app will be installed from any sourced, without the need for repackaging or sandboxing. A demo confirmed that, showing full Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office running on a Snapdragon 835 machine. You can watch it below:

This is basically what came out of the Windows RT failure, a way to achieve this feat. And now carriers are also getting on board.